Major League Baseball players will be wearing a new brand of uniform over the course of the new decade, as the league today announced a new partnership with Under Armour.
The new deal begins on-field with the 2020 season and will run for ten seasons sweeping up the coming “Roaring ’20s”. The deal includes on-field jerseys, as well as “base layer” gear (undershirts), game-day outerwear such as jackets and hoodies, and year-round training apparel (workout/locker room shirts, shorts).
Under Armour is no stranger to Major League Baseball as they have been partners since the 2000 season and providers of on-field wear (cleats, baselayers) since 2006.
“Under Armour is proud of our long-standing relationship with MLB and we look forward to this exciting next chapter”, said Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO, Under Armour. “Under Armour’s goal is to engage and excite MLB’s incredibly diverse fan-base across America and around the world, and grow the game for the next generation of great athletes.”
This marks the first professional league-wide uniform deal for the Baltimore-based athletic company.
The deal replaces the exclusive deal the league has with Majestic Athletic since 2005, the two had last extended the deal through to the end of 2019 just prior to the 2015 season but had been working together since providing batting practice jerseys in 1982. Commissioner Robert Manfred mentioned that they “appreciate Majestic’s many contributions to our clubs, players, and fans throughout our partnership”
While Under Armour was announced as the new on-field provider of authentic player wear, Fanatics was introduced as a manufacturer of the merchandising side of things. The deal is similar to what the National Hockey League announced recently in that the successful on-line sports retailer will be producing the replica jerseys, as well as all the memorabilia they can crank out.
From the press release: “Fanatics will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear, which include jerseys at retail, name & number products and Postseason apparel.”
Major League Baseball is expected to make a “major uniform announcement” this evening around 7pm ET at the Winter Meetings in the Washington area, which could explain why I’m typing up this story from a “power-up” booth at Ronald Reagan National Airport right now. If this is what that announcement is we’ll certainly get more information and provide updates for you here.